Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Day 6

We're getting a little tired so took our time getting up. Had a big breakfast, then headed out to Ecola State Park for a short hike. There is always a great view from there. We wanted to walk a certain trail we have done before but it's been awhile so we got confused. By the time we figured out we were on the wrong one it was too late to do the right one. It was still pretty anyway, so it wasn't a total loss.

After we left there, we went into Cannon Beach. It wasn't crowded like we thought it would be so it was very enjoyable to walk around. Grabbed a slice of pizza, shared an ice-cream cone and got some taffy.

We capped off our week and evening with a fire and roasting marshmallows. We didn't get to see a sunset, it was foggy on the only night we had time. We're heading back home in the morning and will stay at a motel on Mt. Rainier. It was a great trip, and we kept very busy. New memories were made, we had lots of laughs and got on each others' nerves a few times. But it wouldn't be a family vacation without some of that!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 5

Today was eclipse day, as if anybody didn't know. We drove the block and-a-half to the beach to set up our chairs. We had extra glasses so gave them to a family that didn't have any. There was maybe 20 people in our direct vicinity, so great. It got cold but not completely dark and we took off right after. It was cool though, glad we got to experience it.

She looks like a zoned out druggie
The rest of the day was all beaches, three of them. Manhattan beach isn't the prettiest but there is a big pile of old driftwood that's fun to look at. I didn't want to trudge back to the parking lot in the sand so I decided to climb up another area and ended up by some railroad tracks. So we walked back on the tracks to the parking lot. Not my brightest idea.

It was then on to Hug Point, a very cool area with lots of caves and sandstone. If the tide is low enough you can walk around the points to the other side. We got around and back pretty quickly before we were cut off.

Our last and favorite, Arcadia Beach was only a few miles away. We took our camping chairs down and parked on the beach. Hardly busy at all, it was nice to just sit there and watch the waves. We did manage to get some pictures though.

Windy much?
Finally it was time to go back to our room. First we had to stop by at a vista point to get a shot of Manzanita. This photo does not do it justice, it's quite breathtaking.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 4

Today we headed north into Astoria, what a beautiful town with so much character. We went to a market in the downtown area. We've used our GPS a lot on this trip and it has helped us get around tremendously. After about an hour there we headed to the waterfront for lunch. We've been there before but I wasn't quite as impressed this time. It's cool though, that it sits right at the end of the bridge.

We then headed back to Cannon Beach to see the Historical Museum. It was small but interesting. I like to read about history of places we've spent a lot of time at. Then it was beach time! We brought some of Nellie's ashes with us to put in the ocean. She had never taken a trip with us there. I'm not even sure if she would have liked it, and it was always easier to not bring her with us. So I guess we felt we owed it to her to take her. I know, we're goofy.

One last shot of the rock before we go. Never get tired of this place and if I could walk on a beach just a little every day I would be a happy girl.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Day 3

We planned to have a busy day so got out of the room by 10:00 and drove to Tillamook; you know the home of famous cheese. Their factory is closed for renovations this summer so we went to the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. We just walked around, eating samples and bought a few things to go.

Then off we went for a little hiking, a place we've never been before. It's called Bayocean Spit, which has some real interesting history. It was once a community built on a sand dune in between Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean in 1906. It grew to be a pretty cool town even having a heated natatorium equipped with a wave machine.

Until 1920, people had to arrive by steamship, a three day trip from Portland, Oregon. The ride was very rough coming through the mouth of the bay so the community asked the Army Corps Of Engineers for a protective jetty to reduce the waves. They suggested two be built but the townspeople had to pay for half. Not being able to afford that, they only had one built. That was to be their downfall as that one jetty changed the coastline enough for the beaches to start eroding. Little by little, after large storms, building started falling into the ocean with the last garage holding out until 1971. The community is now known as "The town that fell into the ocean."

Now it's all back to its natural state, dunes and grasses with some trails from the bay to the ocean. The entire trail is sand, which is either the best or worst workout you will ever have. It was only 3/4 of a mile round trip but it felt much longer. It was totally worth it though, after you reach the crest and look out over the ocean and realize you just walked over a spit to get there.

looks harmless

oh, we need to climb that crest?

walls of grasses

made it to the top

from whence we came

down to the beach

what's left of it

as far as the eye can see
Then we had to climb from the beach back up to the trail, ugh. You would think we were done for the day. No, we drove further south to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. We've never been there either.

I'm not sure of the population of Pacific City but it was crowded. We ended up parking on the beach itself to take a walk. It was so windy, the sand stung our legs as it whipped by. I assume the wind blows there a lot because even the streets are full of sand. But we came all that way so we got wind whipped. We're glad we did though because it was very beautiful and interesting. There's a large sea stack offshore, just not as large as Haystack rock in Cannon Beach. Also there is a 230 foot tall sand dune which you can climb, but we opted out of that. A large sandstone feature juts out into the ocean too which is worn away by surf and sand. You can climb the top of it too but there have been many deaths in the area because people go beyond the signs and ropes to the edge. Nope, I'll just keep my feet planted in the sand.

Sandstone caves carved out by water and sand

If so many people climb this, why is not flat?

Tide was up too much to climb through the caves

It was really a busy, fun, day. Hope tomorrow is more of the same.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day Two

As long as we've been coming to this area, we've always seen this little steam engine train that travels between Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi. It's an hour and-a-half round trip and travels beside the Tillamook Bay. It was OK I guess with pretty scenery but not real exciting. We could have probably passed on it and not felt like we missed anything. And I was really disappointed that Tom Hanks didn't punch our ticket and serve us hot chocolate (Polar Express)

After that we had lunch and then went back to the room to plan the rest of the week. Not much time left!

It was still fairly early so we drove up to Manzanita. I love that the towns are so close together, it doesn't take much time at all to get to where you're going. We just walked around a bit and then went to the beach. This is one town I could seriously live in if it were possible. I love the smallness of it and I could live like a hermit in one of these houses on the hillside with a view of the ocean.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Summer vacation, 2017

Well, what do you know? I'm back for a week at least. We're not going anywhere different than usual this year but are going to try and do/see things we haven't before. As I say every year, this could be our last family vacation, because of right now, I have 0.00 saved for next year.

The first night we stayed half way to our destination. I don't want to do anymore 12 hours of driving in one day. Once we crossed the Astoria Bridge, we knew we were almost 'home'.

Hubby and The Kid don't like going over this bridge, so I have to make fun of them of course. After crossing the border into Oregon, we go through several small coastal towns. I saw some videos online of the crazies heading into Oregon who want to be the first people in the US to see the eclipse. Thankfully we just saw the usual amount of tourist traffic.

Even though we're not staying in Cannon Beach, we always stop off at a certain beach access to say Hi to Haystack Rock. For many years we used to stay right on that property owned by a man who wasn't interested in making a buck. But after he died, the family sold the land. Although it's all privately owned and not lodging, it's still sad to see the old time owners gone along with their quaint homes and property.

This view never gets old
We finally reached our hotel in Rockaway Beach and rested a bit before dinner. Then we walked on the beach for awhile. The weather is so fantastic and should be the entire time we're here.

As I went  through my photos last night I told my family that the more I take pictures, the more they look like S*^#. Standing next to my daughter with her fancy camera is intimidating since she can get much better shots. So enjoy my mediocre shots of a fun vacation.